Lexington voters' moods seemed as gloomy as the weather Tuesday, at least the few of them who came out to the polls.
I spent much of the day driving around town, talking with voters about the candidates and issues that interested them.
The most excitement I detected was among supporters of incumbent Jim Newberry and Vice Mayor Jim Gray in the mayor's race, and among Republicans voting for Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate primary. Fayette County's turnout was 28 percent.
Paul was embraced by the conservative Tea Party movement, and his opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, was the GOP establishment's choice. The race was being watched nationally as a barometer of Tea Party power.
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Many Paul supporters said they were ambivalent about the Tea Party, but they said he struck them as a departure from politics as usual — and they were plenty tired of that.
"Rand Paul brought me out," said Connie Cooper, who lives off Pasadena Drive. "He's different. I like his issues."
"I don't like the way the Republican Party has been going," said Micah Fielden, 20, a pre-medical student at the University of Kentucky who said he voted for Paul.
Nelva Fitzgerald, who lives in Palomar subdivision, also was unhappy with the Republican Party — so she changed her registration this year and voted Democratic on Tuesday. What sent her over the edge, she said, was Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices who voted to allow more corporate influence in politics, which she thinks is bad for the country.
Raleigh Deaton is a registered Democrat but said he would have voted for Paul if he could have. He likes Paul's fiscal conservatism.
"I'm tired of this doggone government giving money away like it's growing on trees," the utility engineer said. "That's the worst thing we could be doing."
As the results reflected, most people I talked to supported either Newberry, who finished first, or Gray, who finished second, in the mayor's race. They will face each other in November.
A couple liked former Mayor Teresa Isaac, who finished third, but most people's feelings were summed up by Fielden, who said he voted for Gray: "I think she had her shot, and it's time to move on."
James Potter, an electrician who lives in Twin Oaks subdivision, said he came out to vote for Newberry. "With the World (Equestrian) Games and such, everything seems to be going pretty good," he said.
Carrie Kennedy of Palomar agreed. "I think (Newberry) has done a good job," she said.
But Gregory King, who lives in the Kenwick neighborhood east of downtown, disagreed. "I haven't been much impressed with Mayor Newberry," he said. "Jim (Gray) seems to have more creative ideas for Lexington."
Josh Radner, a science teacher at Yates Elementary School, thought so, too. "He's the more creative thinker," he said of Gray. "He's in touch with a wider group of constituents, including some who may not be the most powerful people."
Allen and Zell Richards, a retired postal worker and teacher who live off Man 'o War Boulevard in south Lexington, are Republicans and Paul supporters.
But they split on the mayor's race. He voted for Gray because he didn't like Newberry's support of CentrePointe. She voted for Newberry but agreed with her husband on that stalled development.
"They jumped into that before they knew much about it," she said. "I thought they should have renovated some of those old buildings. We have a beautiful city, and we ought to keep older things around."
"Yea," her husband agreed. "Like us."